Elder and Sister Watts

Elder and Sister Watts

Hill Cumorah Visitors' Sites Mission Statement

"Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life."
3 Nephi 5:13

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


For the past few weeks at the Smith Family Farm and the Peter Whitmer Farm there has been an abundance of beautiful butterflies.  They love the butterfly bush and colorful flowers and I love taking pictures of them!

I found that if I stood very still the butterflies would land and drink the nectar from the flowers and I could take pictures to my heart's content.  It reminded me of this quote by Nathaniel Hawthorne:

"Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you."

I remember the joy of my first grade students as they watched our class caterpillars turn into chrysalises and then to monarch butterflies. 
A day or so after they emerged as beautiful butterflies we would go outside and let them fly free.  Sometimes they would light on the children, much to their delight. But, before they became beautiful butterflies they had a difficult struggle becoming free from their chrysalises. 

In our own lives we also have many struggles.  It is part of our Heavenly Father's Plan.  Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in his conference talk, Finding a Safe Harbor, explained it this way:
 Draw close to the Lord Jesus Christ. He bears a special love for those who suffer. He is the Son of God, an eternal king. In His mortal ministry He loved them and blessed them.
To the meek and discouraged, His every word was one of compassion and encouragement. To the sick, He brought a healing balm.
Today Jesus the Christ stands at the right hand of our Heavenly Father. Do you suppose that today He is any less inclined to aid those who suffer, who are sick, or who appeal to the Father in prayer for succor?

Be of good cheer. The Man of Galilee . . .will not forget nor forsake those whose hearts are drawn to Him. I testify that the Man who suffered for mankind, who committed His life to healing the sick and comforting the disconsolate, is mindful of your sufferings, doubts, and heartaches.
"Then,” the world would ask, “why does He sleep when the tempest rages all around me? Why does He not still this storm, or why would He let me suffer?”

Your answer may be found in considering a butterfly. Wrapped tightly in its cocoon, the developing chrysalis must struggle with all its might to break its confinement. The butterfly might think, Why must I suffer so? Why cannot I simply, in the twinkling of an eye, become a butterfly?
Such thoughts would be contrary to the Creator’s design. The struggle to break out of the cocoon develops the butterfly so it can fly. Without that adversity, the butterfly would never have the strength to achieve its destiny. It would never develop the strength to become something extraordinary.

President James E. Faust explained that “into every life there come the painful, despairing days of adversity and buffeting. There seems to be a full measure of anguish, sorrow, and often heartbreak for everyone, including those who earnestly seek to do right and be faithful.”  And then the suggestion that the adversity we experience allows our souls to become like clay in the hands of the Master. “Trials and adversity,” President Faust taught, “can be preparatory to becoming born anew.”
Adversity can strengthen and refine us. As with the butterfly, adversity is necessary to build character in people. Even when we are called to sail through troubled waters, we need to know the place of adversity in shaping our divine potential.

If only we would look beyond our present suffering and see our struggles as a temporary chrysalis. If only we would have the faith and trust in our Heavenly Father to see how, after a little season, then we can emerge from our trials more refined and glorious.


I hope you enjoyed my butterfly pictures and the wonderful message of hope by Elder Wirthlin.  Watch for my next post, coming soon about apples - I know, the schoolteacher coming out in me again!


  1. Those are beautiful pictures! You do really well with a camera!

  2. More beautiful pictures--thanks for sharing!